Kung fu stunts and red state politics with Chris Mitchum

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Image Credit: Finger Five! Tumblr

The Chris Mitchum Interview, Part Four

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“Dtàt lìam pét” aka “H-Bomb,” a 1972 Golden Harvest Kung Fu flick teaming Chris Mitchum and Olivia Hussey onscreen for the second and ultimately final time with cheaply produced, poorly dubbed results. “H-Bomb” never found theatrical distribution in the USA. Image Credit: IMDB; Up next, this stylized poster for 1974’s “Cosa Nostra Asia” takes a few artistic liberties, as there is no blonde damsel in distress seen in any frame of the Filipino — Hong Kong movie scripted, produced, and directed by Bobby Suarez. Debuting atop a motorcycle as he often found himself typecast, Chris Mitchum is the only Anglo cast member in this martial arts adventure cashing in on the nascent film genre glorified by Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon.” Image Credit: Amazon
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So you wanna get tough? Chris Mitchum screams “Hi-ya!” and raises his dukes in an artist rendering for 1974’s “Cosa Nostra Asia.” The Filipino — Hong Kong martial arts movie was scripted, produced, and directed by Bobby Suarez. Mitchum bitterly remembers being blackballed. “Despite being on the cover of Seventeen Magazine twice, Photoplay, doing ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ three times, ‘The Dick Cavett Show,’ and ‘The Merv Griffin Show,’ I couldn’t get a job interview when I came back to the states,” says Mitchum. “I finally got one for a film called ‘Steelyard Blues’ [1973, costarring Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, and Peter Boyle]. The casting director — I’ve searched for her name but seems it has been purged from all credits — said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t interview you. I didn’t realize you were that Chris Mitchum.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘You starred with John Wayne.’” Image Credit: IMDB
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Circa June 1970, Howard Hawks directs “fourth gunman” George Plimpton and John Wayne in an interior saloon scene for “Rio Lobo” shot at CBS Studio City in Hollywood [the former Republic Studios where Wayne had worked extensively under studio head Herbert Yates]. Wayne biographer Scott Eyman wrote, “Joining the company for a bit part was Plimpton, then at the height of his success as an everyman attempting fish-out-of-water experiences, which he memorialized in books, or in this case, a TV documentary.” ”Plimpton! Shoot-Out at ‘Rio Lobo’” became a 60-minute ABC special which aired on December 9, 1970, nine days before the premiere of Hawks’ final film. Photography by Marv Newton / Paramount Pictures
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Dogged investigator Karl Malden, detached young assassin Chris Mitchum, and long-legged mafia leader’s daughter Olivia Hussey are seen in a vivid theatrical poster for the 1972 crime thriller “Summertime Killer.” Image Credit: Finger Five! Tumblr
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Baby, I’m a want you: Olivia Hussey and Chris Mitchum romantically lock eyes in director Antonio Isasi’s European revenge romp “Summertime Killer,” distributed on May 17, 1972. Image Credit: The Chris Mitchum Collection / The Mesquite Local News
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Former Confederate Sergeant Tuscarora Phillips [Chris Mitchum, son of laconic tough guy Robert Mitchum], former Union Colonel Cord McNally [John Wayne], dentist-turned-rifle-toting defender David Huddleston, and one-eyed “Old Man Philips” Jack Elam are seen in a lobby card depicting director Howard Hawks’ final film “Rio Lobo,” dropped to abysmal reviews but decent box office returns on December 16, 1970. Photography by David Sutton / The LasBugas Collection / DukeWayne.com / Paramount Pictures
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A promo still for director Andrew V. McLaglen’s 1976 western “The Last Hard Men” finds Chris Mitchum, Michael Parks, and Charlton Heston figuring out the whereabouts of bloodthirsty outlaw James Coburn’s gang, guilty of kidnapping Heston’s daughter portrayed by the alluring Barbara Hershey. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox / Amazon’s Entertainment Collectibles Store
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It was huge! During his second run for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 24th Congressional District, Chris Mitchum encounters Donald Trump during the Palm Beach County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner at the future president’s Mar-a-Lago Club. Image Credit: The Chris Mitchum Collection
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Artist Fernando DeOliveira [Boston, Massachusetts], artist Giuliana Mottin [Santa Barbara, California], Doreen Corkin [Weston, Massachusetts], and fiancé Chris Mitchum collide at the New England Conservatory’s El Festín de la Música [A Feast of Music] held at the Fairmont Copley Plaza on February 22, 2014. The gala raised money for scholarships for NEC students. Photography by Bill Brett / The Boston Globe
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John Wayne is Colonel Mike Kirby in “The Green Berets,” the first major Hollywood film to tackle the escalating Vietnam War when dropped on June 19, 1968. The blatantly flag-waving war drama was the Duke’s second and final directorial effort and ultimately became his second biggest latter-career box office hit following “True Grit.” Photography by David Sutton / Warner Bros.
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Pensive tenderfoot dandy Hal Brickman [Chris Mitchum] determinedly accompanies retired Arizona Ranger Sam Burgade [Charlton Heston] to hell and back to rescue kidnapped fiancé Barbara Hershey in “The Last Hard Men,” an uncompromisingly brutal western which received minimal theatrical distribution. Directed by frequent John Wayne collaborator Andrew V. McLaglen [e.g. “Cahill U.S. Marshal”], it was issued on April 24, 1976. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox / Pinterest

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net